Marie Kelly, Board President
Kelly is a 17-year resident of the District. She is married to Ralph and they have three children. Christopher, KHS ’09, attends Princeton, and twin daughters Audrey and Erin attend Nipher Middle School. Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in Industrial Engineering and was employed by Citicorp for 15 years.
Leadership: Kelly has been an active volunteer to the entire Kirkwood community for 17 years. She has served every school in the District and is the former president of the Kirkwood School District Foundation (KSDF). During her term, Kelly over saw the Earl and Myrtle Walker Science Center and Lyons Stadium Field projects, collectively raising $2.3 million. She is an active member of her church where she is the Sunday school co-superintendent, and teacher and directs the Vacation Bible School program.
Statement: “Achieving academic excellence for every student is the first priority of the Kirkwood School District. This requires hiring the best teachers, maintaining low class sizes, and implementing a rigorous and relevant curriculum. Balancing these needs in our challenging economic environment requires stretching tax dollars and being vigilant in fiscal planning. If elected, I will tap into my professional and volunteer experiences to bring people together to resolve issues and identify opportunities in a cohesive manner.”
Angie Bernardi, Board Vice President
Angie Bernardi has served Kirkwood as a member of the School Board since her election in 2015. She currently serves on the District’s committees for Strategic Planning, Technology, Curriculum, Sustainability, Salary and Communications. She is also a member of the Kirkwood Legislative Advocacy Committee for Education, the Equity Gap Task Force, Discipline Philosophy and Policy Committee and Kirkwood Every Child Promise Early Education Initiative. As a certified member of the Missouri School Board Association, she is the Delegate representing the District for legislative action on school funding, assessment, and other statewide policies.
She has worked closely with all stakeholders to articulate a new statement of vision and mission and to communicate the goals and objectives for a sound fiscal future for Kirkwood School District through systematic strategic planning. An integral part of the plan involved approving new technology as a tool for teaching and learning. Students are the focus of all policies at Kirkwood School District. Angie has focused on policies that support equity, inclusion and wellness concerning students social and emotional needs. Angie has encouraged the district to support data driven decisions through surveys, studies and focus groups. She has recruited resources in the community to support the district through collaborations with universities, similar districts and consulting groups.
Angie earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She learned to listen actively and build consensus while serving on executive committees, pastoral councils, school boards, parent associations, fundraising committees and advisory councils in the areas of education, youth ministry, performing arts, music, sports and scouts.
Working in R&D and new product development at Cooper Industries she earned two patents for innovations in circuit protection. More recently she has focused on strategic planning consulting for business and non-profit organizations with a focus on education. She contributed to the team that established the Washington University College of Engineering’s cooperative education program and conducted research, analysis, and coordinated development for strategic planning processes at Washington University, local parochial schools, and small businesses. She has also served for a number of years as a Campaign Representative in the Education Division fundraising for United Way of Greater St. Louis. She was a member of the St. Peter’s Parish Board of Education for four years.
Angie has volunteered her time and effort to building the Kirkwood Community in many different ways. Angie is a board member for SPROG Inc. (an organization that provides summer education enrichment, recreational activities, leadership and workforce training, and summer employment for Kirkwood youth) and for the Kirkwood Player’s Production Company at Kirkwood High School. She is a member of Washington University Women’s Society Education and Business Committees, and the Washington University Parent Welcoming Committee for Kirkwood students.
Angie supports education at Kirkwood parochial and private schools by collaborating and coordinating resources with the Kirkwood School District. As a member of St. Peter’s Parish in Kirkwood, she served four years on the St. Peter’s Parish Board of Education and currently works as a member of the Life to Eagle Board for Boy Scout Troop 323. Other community volunteer positions she has held for Kirkwood private and public schools include the following: Kirkwood High School Theater Program, Kirkwood School District Foundation, Kirkwood Pioneer Pride Band, Pioneer Athletics, KHS Cross Country, KHS Water Polo, Kirkwood PPO parent organization and The Repertory Theater.
Angie and her husband Bill have been proud to call Kirkwood their home for the past 27 years. They have three sons, a senior at Kirkwood High School, a 2016 KHS graduate studying at Washington University and a 2013 KHS graduate now working at the Washington University School of Medicine. Angie has dedicated her volunteer efforts to continue to build the Kirkwood Community and looks forward to the opportunity to continue contributing to the strength of the Kirkwood School District as a board member.
Julie Backer, Board Secretary
My name is Julie Backer and I am serving my 2nd term on the Kirkwood School Board. I have 4 children who attend Kirkwood School district, Luke and Ben attend Kirkwood High School, Luke is a senior and Ben is a freshman. My daughter Grace attends Nipher Middle School and receives services from the Special School District in a classroom set up to provide for the unique needs of children with Autism. Owen is a third grader at Tillman Elementary School.
I have lived in Kirkwood for 13 years and have served the district and community in a variety of volunteer capacities.
Tillman PTO board member for 6 years, served as the Tillman Elementary Liaison to the Kirkwood School District Foundation and served as Special School District Parent Advocate. At Kirkwood High School I am currently serving my third year on the KHS PTO board, serving my third year as Teacher Appreciation Chairperson. I chaired the 2013 KHS Mother’s Club trivia night, raising over $12,000 and am currently serving as Chairperson for the 2014 After Graduation Party, a drug and alcohol free graduation night party. Chairing the AGP requires 12 months of planning as well as managing a $40,000 budget and a committee of over 40 parent volunteers.
I have served the community as a Cub Scout leader for 6 years I Pack 457. I served on the board for Kirkwood Swim and Dive Team for 7 years. I am a member of Webster Groves Christian Church and chaired their Vacation Bible School for 4 years.
My biggest accomplishment to date is spearheading the creation of KSD’s first autism support room at Tillman Elementary in 2005, it is a program that Kirkwood and Special School District work together on and is a thriving program today. I want to serve on the Kirkwood School Board for a very simple reason: I love this school district, I appreciate the educators who have shaped the people my children are becoming and I want to assure Kirkwood keeps and continues to obtain the best educators in the area. I am passionate about the education of all children and want to not only maintain the quality programs my children have experienced but help grow programs for the changing needs of the 21st century student.
I think the Achievement gap is something our district needs to continue to focus on, being willing to think outside the box and individualizing education among students. With static or declining funding levels, we will need to address the challenge of continuing to provide an excellent education to the children of our district. Kirkwood School District has been greatly affected by the unaccredited school districts in our state and we will need to continue to stay focused on this issue, give feedback and ideas at the legislative level as well as doing what we can as a district and regionally.
My priorities as a board member are to include the Kirkwood School district educators, parents, kids and community members in open discussions about the future of our district, I would like to help build on our relationship as a community. I would love to see excellence in academics for every child in our district, I think we have a huge resource with the Special School District and we need to continue to work together to assure every child is getting the education they deserve.
I think we always need to assure taxpayers that we are using our funds appropriately and wisely and make sure we are communicating that to the community.
Jean Marie Andrews, Board Director
Darnel Frost, Board Director
Frost is a 14-year resident of the District. He and his wife Amy, KHS ’94, have three children. Daughter Taylor attends KHS and daughter Delaney and son Trey both attend Robinson Elementary. Frost earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Webster University and has had social justice and diversity training with AT&T where he is employed.
Leadership: Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission for the City of Kirkwood, member of the KSD UNITE committee and KSD Strategic Planning Committee.
Statement: “I have the utmost respect for Kirkwood and the people of Kirkwood. I am personable and persistent in my beliefs and pursuit for improving the Kirkwood community. Diversity Awareness is a calling and is near and dear to my heart. This has led me to being involved in social justice training with the KSD, specifically with the UNITE committee. I am committed to educational equity throughout the District.”
Chad Kavanaugh, Board Director
Resident of Kirkwood School District for over 23 years.
Married to Lynn Travis Kavanaugh and have 3 children:
Caroline - 2016 KHS graduate
Jack - Junior at KHS
Louis - 7th grader at North Middle School.
Over the past 15 years, our children have attended North Glendale Elementary, Tillman Elementary, Nipher
Middle School, North Middle School, and Kirkwood High School.
My wife’s family has been heavily involved with the District for over 4 decades.
Successful business, leadership and management experience:
Enterprise Holdings – 19 Years; served on National Diversity Team/Career Family focus Group
World Wide Technology – 4 Years
Relevant responsibilities: Talent acquisition, policy development, P&L responsibility and problem solving.
Served and volunteered in many community roles:
Board of Adjustment for the City of Kirkwood
Boy Scouts of America
Executive board of Okaw Valley, Business Community Service Award
Assistant Scout Master and Cub Master in Kansas City
Achieved Eagle Scout as well as my son Jack
Deacon and Elder at Kirkwood Presbyterian Church
Served and volunteered in many school district roles which gives me an accurate and multifaceted
perspective on how the school district and community work:
KHS Class of 2016 Trivia Night 2018 After Graduation Party
KHS football program; pre-game meals, Beautification service volunteer
fundraising, and various activities Greenery sales volunteer
Color run volunteer Survival Bags fundraiser, class of 2016
PBI (Pioneer Boosters Inc.) concession stand worker KSD Foundation Dinner host
Field trip supervisor on several school field trips Chili Bowl Cook Off
I understand and have paid close attention to the challenges:
teacher/staff downsizing, increased classroom size, facilities, intervention, achievement gap, early childhood
development, and financial strain.
I bring a pragmatic and action-oriented approach to solving problems using more than 20 years of
leadership and management experience
I will listen to the community and find common ground
I believe in the Kirkwood Community, and I am committed to providing the leadership needed to
improve the already great Kirkwood Schools.
Jennifer Pangborn, Board Director
Jennifer Pangborn is a dedicated Kirkwood resident who values community and education. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Masters of Science in Construction Management and now works as an engineer and community planner with WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. Jennifer’s career is focused in strategic thinking and project leadership, and she is a skillful collaborator. She helps communities plan long term needs with fiscal constraints, all while meeting the needs of residents. Jennifer and her husband, Mike Dolde, have three boys. Joey and Billy attend Robinson Elementary, and Timmy will attend KECC in the next couple of years.
Mike and Jennifer moved to Kirkwood in 2013, because of the award-winning schools and strong community. Jennifer has been fully committed to the community and to the education of our children. She is the PTO Co-Vice President at Robinson Elementary, and has assisted with fundraisers, coached little league sports, and mentored students on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) projects. She serves on the Kirkwood Board of Adjustment at City Hall, and functions as a peer mentor to female engineers.
Jennifer wants to ensure a high quality education for current and future students in our community. Her professional experiences will provide her the patience for process, but she will insist for actions and results. She carries the leadership and insight to create policies and plans to balance the highest quality services within the constraints of a responsible budget. Jennifer is a skillful listener, and she wants to find new ways to improve communication between the School Board and community so important decisions and discussions are relayed to all citizens of Kirkwood.
Jennifer’s professional career will be an asset to the Kirkwood School Board. She will encourage communication and foster consensus so every child has the education experience they deserve.